Roma and Real Sociedad will meet for the first time ever in European competition when the two sides take to the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday for the first leg of their round-of-16 tie, with kickoff slated for 17:45 GMT.
Roma, who beat Juventus last weekend, will be looking to make it into the quarter-finals by taking the lead in the first leg, played in front of the home fans, before traveling to Spain next week for the second leg.
Real Sociedad, on a three-match winless run in La Liga with two draws and a loss, will be looking to bounce back when they travel to Rome on Thursday. They will look for a good result before hosting Roma next week.
Roma’s Home Form
Roma have won their last five Serie A matches at the Stadio Olimpico; this is the first time they have done this since 2017 when they were under Eusebio Di Francesco.
Their home form was also in their previous round of the Europa League when they eliminated RB Salzburg. After losing the away leg 1-0, they came back to win 2-0 at home to Salzburg to set up the clash with Real Sociedad on Thursday.
Jose Mourinho and his charges will look to make the home advantage count in the tie against Real Sociedad by taking the lead at home before traveling to Spain for the second leg next week.
Given their recent home form, Mourinho will back his side to make a good start to this tie on Thursday.
Real Sociedad’s Winless Run
Sociedad have won just once in their last five attempts in La Liga. They have had two draws and two losses in the run of form.
However, given the form of surrounding teams, Real Sociedad have retained their top-four slot, maintaining a three-point lead over 5th-placed Real Betis.
Their winless run of three matches has seen Sociedad score just once and kept a single clean sheet in the latest outing that ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Imanol Alguacil will be looking to get his charges into the right groove before stepping onto the Stadio Olimpico turf on Thursday as they bid to end their winless run.
Jose Mourinho will be without two players for the home clash against Sociedad. Defensive midfielder Ebrahima Darboe is out with a cruciate ligament injury that required surgery. The 21-year-old has been out since July 21, 2022, and has missed the bulk of the season.
Roma will also be without right winger Ola Solbakken with a muscle injury.
Imanol Alguacil will be without center-forward Umar Sadiq. The 26-year-old forward has been out of action since September 12, 2022, with a cruciate ligament rupture.
Center-back Aritz Elustondo’s ankle injury has also kept him out of selection since January 31, 2023; the 28-year-old has missed 5 matches for Sociedad and is unlikely to be available on Thursday.
Left winger Martin Merquelanz is also ruled out of the trip to Roma with a knee injury.
R. Patricio; G. Mancini, C. Smalling, R. Ibanez; N. Zalewski, B. Cristante, N. Matic, L. Spinazzola; L. Pellegrini, G. Wijnaldum; P. Dybala
Alex Remiro; A. Gorosabel, I. Zubeldia, R. Le Normand, D. Rico; M. Zubimendi; B. Mendez, M. Merino, T. Kubo; C. Fernandez, M. Oyarzabal
Roma will look to be defensively sound but also pose an attacking threat. This will ensure they are not open while retaining the threat to get the home win they need.
Real Sociedad will look to be disciplined but expansive and employ their pressing style of football.
Roma will get a narrow win to take to Spain next week.
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